Featured | November 14, 2022 | 6 mins Read

Golden Ratio for Website Design

The golden ratio is a key design principle that ensures web designs are visually appealing to users. 

Have you ever wondered why you look at some web designs and find them much more appealing than others? The answer is likely all down to the golden ratio. 

Golden ratio is a key design theory that’s used across an array of visual and creative industries and is a key cornerstone to many of the websites designed by the KIJO team. 

In this article we’ll explore the golden ratio in detail, allowing you to get to grips with what the golden ratio is and how to use the golden ratio in web design.

What is the Golden Ratio?

The golden ratio, also known as the divine proportion or the golden mean, is a mathematical ratio that is commonly found in nature and now used throughout design. 

The golden ratio itself is actually a number that equates to around 1.618. In web design we use the golden rectangle, a rectangle where the length is 1.618 times the width. 

From this rectangle we “cut out” a perfect square which leaves us with another golden rectangle. Depending on your design plans you can keep going, cutting out perfect squares and creating new golden rectangles. 

So how do we then use the golden ratio in web design? Well, the golden rectangle allows us to determine where we will put the most important content on a webpage. 

Usually, we will place the top level, important content within the perfect square, and the secondary content such as a sidebar or advert into the golden rectangle. This then creates a visually appealing page design. 

Why Is the Golden Ratio Important (The Science Behind It)?

The golden ratio dates as far back as Ancient Greece. The proportion is commonly found in nature which led the Greek’s to believe it had a special power over the human brain and technically, they weren’t wrong. 

Subconsciously, any design created using the golden ratio theory will be deemed attractive to the human eye. Even some of the greatest artists the world has ever seen, such as DaVinci, have based their masterpieces around the golden ratio.

Golden ratio designs are as close to perfection as you can get. 

The reality is that humans naturally find symmetrical designs more appealing which is exactly what the golden ratio taps into.  

Symmetrical web design will be a more attractive option for visitors than a non-symmetrical one and will lead to more conversions and clicks. Using the golden ratio in web design is therefore essential if you want to create a visually aesthetic website that appeals to users. 

The Maths of Golden Ratio

We touched on the maths earlier but to implement the golden ratio in web design, you’re going to have to get to grips with the numbers. 

The golden ratio exists when a line (or in the case of web design, a screen) is divided into 2 parts: a and b. The longer part (a) divided by the smaller part (b) is equal to the sum of a + b divided by a. Both should equal the golden number, 1.618. 

It might sound confusing, especially if you’re not a maths whizz, but the most important thing to remember is the number 1.618. 

Golden Ratio for Website Design

So, how do we use the golden ratio in web design? We can do so in various ways including: 

The Golden Ratio in Typography

You can use the golden ratio to ensure the typography on your website is visually appealing to users.

For example, if you’re using a font that’s 12pt for the main body text, you can use the golden ratio to work out what size your headers should be. You simply times the font size by 1.618 so in this case, the answer would be 19.4. You can then round down to 19pt for your header size. 

The Golden Ratio in Logos

Your logo doesn’t have to be rectangular in shape in order for you to use the golden ratio on it. In fact, instead of the rectangle you can use the golden spiral. 

The golden spiral is based on the golden ratio. It’s a spiral whose growth factor is the golden number. The spiral offers a visual representation of the golden ratio and is particularly useful when designing logos. 

Designers can use the golden spiral to indicate where to put certain aspects of the logo design and make the logo visually appealing to potential customers. 

The Golden Ratio In Images

How you crop and position images on your website can also be determined by the golden ratio. When it comes to cropping images you can use the golden spiral to determine the best composition to opt for, ensuring that the main focal point of the image sits at the centre of the golden spiral. 

The Golden Ratio in UX Design & Layouts

Fluid website layouts are now essential thanks to the need for a responsive, mobile-friendly web design. This means that many web designers now create percentage based designs where a page will scale to fit the screen of the browser. 

A fluid web design makes integrating the golden ratio easy, you just have to divide the width by 1.618. 

A common layout choice for many websites is having a section of “main” content and a sidebar. As we mentioned before, you can use the golden ratio to determine how big your main content section should be compared to how big your sidebar should be.

You can also use the golden ratio to determine the size of features such as your navigation bar and header image. 

And Finally…

The golden ratio is a design theory that creates a visually appealing design, naturally drawing the human eye to specific points within a web page. 

When it comes to web design, we can use the golden ratio to create a hierarchy on a page and place content in a way that draws the user’s eye and creates a welcoming and enjoyable user experience. 

At KIJO – Web Design Birmingham our team of experts are well versed in utilising the golden ratio in our web designs to ensure we create websites that not only perform well for clients but are also visually stunning pieces of design. 

If you’d like to find out more about how the KIJO team are the number one web design agency in Birmingham and how they can use their expertise to build a winning website for your brand, contact us today. 

Posted on by Jordan Thompson